For a monthly subscription, at joining, Collar Club members receive a new wardrobe of 11 made-to-order Italian shirts, and enjoy five crisp shirts every week thanks to a web-driven, to-the-doorstep collection and drop off laundry service. For only £3.17 per day, Collar Club members to our Full Service receive:
- 11 made-to-order Italian shirts of their own
- All 11 shirts are delivered at the start of the subscription
- 11 months of laundry, any 5 of your own shirts laundered & hand finished each week
- Laundry is collected and delivered weekly – you may request your shirts either folded or hung
- Ffter 12 months, keep the shirts or we’ll donate them to charity
- Renew again for 11 new shirts
Collar Club’s distinct Warby Parker style free Trial shirt option (we allow customers to try one of our shirts for up to 5 days for free) allows customers to test shirt quality and make an informed decision to join the club. We also offer a highly edited ready to wear line of finest Italian made shirts.
Collar Club aims to disrupt the $430bn global menswear market (MARKETLINE) by connecting the customer directly with Italian craftsmanship through a robust pure-play online experience with a subscription & concierge twist. We believe the current retail model is out-dated and unfair on the consumer. We have gone back to Italy, the home of style and fashion, to bring you the finest quality shirts without unnecessary mark-ups and with a unique Collar Club twist. We believe that men should be able to buy beautiful, well-made shirts without costing the earth. Unlike many of our competitors who have moved production far afield, our shirts are designed in Britain and made by one of the finest shirtmakers in Italy.
Most men the world over have a similar desire for well cut, clean shirts worn every day of their working life. They need to stand out, but fit in – as part of a global corporate uniform. Collar Club exists to free men from the pain of buying, washing, drying and ironing a shirt ever again, while guiding them through the minefield of a daily workwear style.
Most of Jermyn Street and all of the so-called 4 for £100 Jermyn Street shirtmakers will have customers believe that their shirts are British made. Even some in Jermyn Street are making their made to measure shirts in far flung places with cheap labour. We know that shirts that are actually made in the UK or Italy retail at £150-225 per shirt. And that the weekly ordeal of washing, drying and ironing, or trips to and from the laundry is time which could be better spent elsewhere.
We want to free up more of our members’ precious time, by removing the chores and hassle of having to look after their shirts. All people want is a crisp shirt, ready to wear, when they open their wardrobe in the morning- every day, 52 weeks of the year.
Collar Club is attempting to solve two distinct problems.
(A) Most people hate laundry and ironing but men hate it more. Likewise, most men dislike shopping and make a clear distinction between buying & shopping. Our current target customer is an ABC1 Male earning £75,000 or more, working long hours, travels frequently and has limited downtime. Collar Club aims to gift something they don’t have much of. Precious TIME. We seek to solve this problem by providing a fresh wardrobe of eleven Italian made shirts and a seamless laundry service.
(B) Our research shows that many of the Jermyn Street shirtmakers actually don’t make their shirts in the UK and use cheap labour locations yet charge their customers as if this were not the case. We know that there are so-called Jermyn Street shirtmakers who retail shirts for 4 for £100 in a sale that is as permanent as a temporary government program. Over time men become frustrated by poor quality- the saying ‘buy cheap buy twice’ is more like “buy cheap buy thrice” in this category. These shirts are now the consumer’s disposable variety filling our landfills at a rate never seen before. Approximately 1 billion items per year and the equivalent of one in four garments sold are sent to landfill. Collar Club wants an end to this. Our shirts are made to last using quality materials and our customers will be encouraged to donate their shirts to charities like Suited & Booted when their useful life is at an end.
The false economy of buying cheap shirts several times a year (average 3 x £100 p.a.), using housekeepers for laundry & ironing (£10-12/hr wages- average cost £2-2.50/shirt), wives/partners running and doing laundry and ironing (average cost- priceless) is NOT the 2015 way. Join the club. Welcome to Collar Club.
- £298K Seed funding raised between in August & December 2014; completed development of the product, branding and design work
- Strategic partnership signed with Otherway.com to provide end-to-end branding, design and development support on an ongoing basis.
- A fully tested and functioning web and mobile optimised platform to offer Try, Buy and Subscribe (collarclub.com). Analytics and a good CRM can be scaled quickly.
- Italian manufacturer tested over the soft launch period. Quality approved. Excellent customer feedback
- Laundry SLA in place. Plans to expand coverage soon by exploring strategic tie-ups with logistics companies
- PR organised through strategic linkages with key press contacts. Awaiting the greenlight.
- EU wide trademark registered for the logo and trademarks in process for name and the Collar Club Wolf head
- Soft launch of the business in February/March ’15. Great press coverage despite very minimal PR effort and a single online display ad
- In excess of 12,000 hits on the site. Approximately 400 email registrations which resulted in 40 shirts trialled. Our soft launch in February/March saw a high conversion rate to full subscription from those who trialed our shirts. Conversion was very high at 28% which on one hand is a testimony to the quality of our shirts and proves that once a customer engages through a Free Trial, it increases the probability of him signing up. On the other hand the dataset is small and we expect conversions to be in the range of 10-15% which has been modelled in our financials.
- Excellent feedback on the quality of the shirt, its fabric and finish.
- A team at UCLA’s Andersen School of Management is engaged to market test the concept and propose a go-to- market strategy for USA by early June 2015. Launch timing TBD
The size of the UK menswear market has grown to £12.9bn at the end 2013 (Menswear UK 2014-Mintel) with an overwhelming 66% of men doing shopping online. The market will grow by 25% until 2019 and is growing faster than womenswear. Research shows that the greatest driver (72.9%)for male online shopping behaviour is convenience; something that Collar Club is dedicated to. Four shirtmakers dominate the men’s formal shirt market – Thomas Pink, Hawes & Curtis, TM Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt. The last three combined together sell more than 6.5-7.0 million shirts each year, with an estimated 70% purchased in the UK by British men (Source: various newspaper articles). Total Serviceable Market for Collar Club will be comprised of UK-based buyers of these shirts, which we calculate to represent a total market of between 2.5 million and 4.0 million shirts per year.
Male City workers are estimated to have between 12-20 shirts in use during any single year period, with a need to replace between 6-12 shirts each year, typically due to wear and tear ( Collar Club’s informal survey). Anecdotally, most office shirts have a limited lifespan – unable to take extensive regular wash and wear – as most men tend to purchase shirts the lower end of the quality spectrum. Collars and cuffs ‘give-in’ easily to regular washing and ironing, requiring shirts to be replaced frequently. This negates the initially-apparent cost savings, with the entire process leaving the consumer desiring a far better, end-to-end cost- and time-saving experience.
Office shirts are predominantly (c.75% based on our own survey results) white and blue. The retail price of shirts worn by our target demographic typically ranges from as low as £25-30 for a simple ‘Jermyn Street Copycat’ shirt, through to as much as £160-170 for a ‘top-end designer’ or `Saville Row tailor’ shirt. Most shirts are 100% cotton and are manufactured in Asian countries, in order to keep costs low. Our research suggests that our target demographics’ shirt-buying behaviour is stylised by the approach of buying several new shirts at a time, so as to reduce frequency of laundry.
Collar Club Proposition:
Collar Club works directly with an Italian shirtmaker and cuts out all the middlemen to pass on the savings to the customer. We also decided that the best accompaniment to a fine Italian shirt was a hassle-free laundry concierge, every week of the year. As part of our subscription service, we allow you to wash any five shirts every week. That’s any shirt, not just Collar Club shirts.
Our distinctive offering of TRY, BUY & SUBSCRIBE seeks to place Collar Club as a fashionable and aspirational brand and must have shirt in a man’s wardrobe. We are not aware of a player in the UK or anywhere in the world which is using this exciting three-way customer engagement platform. We don’t want to compete with the 4 for £100 shirtmakers on price, but by bundling our shirts with a seamless laundry service we offer their customers a possibility to upgrade without a huge incremental investment. Customers of the likes of Thomas Pink and other Jermyn Street shirtmakers will be attracted by our economical made to order pricing and the convenience of laundry embedded into their purchase.
Our emphasis on high quality craftsmanship will keep us in a strong position vis-a-vis competition and we are confident that eventually the consumer will gravitate to our higher quality at an affordable price point. We are striving to be the Italian Made.com of shirt-making and menswear.